Tom Verducci on how today’s bullpens have changed the way baseball is played
Tom Verducci has an interesting take on how bullpens are changing the way Major League Baseball is played.
The in-game race in baseball no longer is to take pitches, grind out at-bats to wear down the starting pitcher to drive him from the game and get into the opposing bullpen. The race is to get an early lead. Getting into a bullpen—where the ERA drops by more than half a run and the batting average drops by almost 20 points—is not preferable.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson doesn’t subscribe to this belief – he wants to build his team around a rotation of power starting pitchers, with hitters who walk a lot and “hunt strikes.” His bullpen is an afterthought.
I wonder if the Mets might be better served this year by trying to upgrade that bullpen (beyond the boost they should get when Jenrry Mejia returns from his suspension next month) than trying to force a trade for a hitter that might not be there.